Lily Zhang playing style and equipment

Lily Zhang began playing table tennis at the age of seven and rapidly became a rising star. At the time she was a teenager, she was regarded as one of the top female players in the United States (5-times US-Champion).

About Lily Zhang

Despite her young age, she has already taken part in two Olympics. She now competes in the Bundesliga in Germany. She is now rated 26th in the world and uses a Joola blade and rubbers.

Name: Lily Zhang
Playing style Shakehand, all-round attack
Height: 5’4
Weight: 113
DOB: 6/16/1996
Hometown: Palo Alto, Calif.
College: UC Berkeley
Team/Club: ICC
Coach(es): Massimo Costantini and the ICC Coaching Staff
Highest ranking 26 (January 2020)
Current ranking 27 (December 2021)

American table tennis player Lily Ann Zhang, born on June 16, 1996, represented the United States at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London alongside teammates Ariel Hsing and Erica Wu.

Lily Zhang became the first US medalist at the World Table Tennis Championships
Lily Zhang became the first US medalist at the World Table Tennis Championships

Her Chinese name is 张安 (Zhang An).

Along with Jiaqi Zheng and Jennifer Wu, she represented the United States in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Jörg Roßkopf shares his thoughts on player development with Lily Zhang and offers his advice for players.

Lily Zhang playing style

Lily Zhang explained:

My playing style and my usual equipment choices are actually quite unique. Since I first picked up a table tennis racket at the age of seven, my hands were very small and every racket I held was rather large and heavy.

Consequently, my coach at the time helped me select a paddle that was very light, slender, and thin, so I could manage during the practice sessions and matches without seriously injuring myself. Ever since then, I have always and still prefer thin and light rackets, even though it’s 16 years later and I am (hopefully) much stronger and more capable.

Lily Zhang one of the best USA female players (1)
Lily Zhang is one of the best USA female players (1)

Lily Zhang equipment

Lily Zhang is sponsored by Joola.

Blade – JOOLA Nobilis PBO-C

FH & BH Rubber – JOOLA Rhyzer Pro 50

Apparel – JOOLA Trinity Lady Shirt

JOOLA’s Lily Zhang uses the JOOLA Nobilis PBO-C Blade and JOOLA Rhyzer Pro 50 rubbers on both forehand and backhand.

Joola Nobilis PBO-C
Joola Nobilis PBO-C
Joola Pro 50
Joola Pro 50

Houston WTTC Ping Pong Diplomacy player

Until Dick Miles won a bronze medal in 1959, the only US medallist in the World Table Tennis Championships was Lily Zhang. In honor of the 50th anniversary of Ping Pong Diplomacy, Zhang teamed up with Lin Gaoyuan of China to compete in the Mixed Doubles event.

Lin Gaoyuan and Lily Zhang compete during the mixed doubles semifinals at the 2021 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships
Lin Gaoyuan and Lily Zhang compete during the mixed doubles semifinals at the 2021 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships

Zhang said: “It was a privilege to be paired with Lin Gaoyuan for the Mixed Doubles, not only to build a formidable combination but also to mark Ping Pong Diplomacy’s 50th anniversary.

Olympic Experience

Lily participated in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England, and will participate in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil

World Championship Experience

Lily won a Bronze Medal at the 2014 Junior World Team Championships

Youth Olympic Games Experience

Lily won a Bronze Medal at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China

Other Career Highlights

2016 US Women’s Singles Champion
2016 US Women’s Doubles Champion
2016 US Olympic Team Member (Singles & Team)
2016 US National & Worlds Team Member
2016 North American Championships Women’s Singles & Team Champion
2015 Pan Am Games Women’s Team, Gold Medalist
2015 Pan Am Games Women’s Singles, Bronze Medalist

 

Personal life

Chinese parents gave birth to Lily Zhang on June 16, 1996, in Redwood City, California. As a child, her father taught mathematics at Stanford University, where her family lived. Lily grew up playing table tennis with her parents in Xi’an, China, where her father was a member of the county table tennis team.

Lily Zhang one of the best USA female players (2)
Lily Zhang is one of the best USA female players (2)

Her father’s friend and fellow table tennis player, Dennis Davis, would take her to the Palo Alto Table Tennis Club to practice with her as well. For her high school graduation, Lily enrolled at the University of California Berkeley in 2014 after graduating from Palo Alto High School. In order to prepare for the 2016 Olympic Games, Lily took a year off after her freshman year.

A portion of her gap year was spent in Austria, where she trained and played soccer (trained at home club ICC as well).

The documentary Top Spin features Lily.

Table tennis career in the United States

She is a five-time national champion in women’s singles in the United States of America. Since 2012, Zhang has won the United States national title four times. Women’s singles and team bronze medalist at the Pan American Games in 2011, she also won the Qatar Peace and Sport Cup women’s doubles gold in 2011.

Lily Zhang won the US Championship 2021
Lily Zhang won the US Championship 2021

She is now a part of the United States Women’s National Team. At the junior (U-18) level, she has been rated as high as second in the world rankings.

Lily Zhang has already demonstrated considerable talent at an early age. Dennis Davis, president and head coach of the Palo Alto Table Tennis Club and North American representative of the International Table Tennis Federation’s youth commission, began training her when she was seven years old. As a 12-year-old, Zhang was a member of the US Cadet Team. The 12-year-old Zhang was the youngest member of the U.S.

Women’s National Team ever, and by the age of 13, she was the country’s top-ranked junior woman table tennis player in the country.

Lily Zhang playing style and equipment
Lily Zhang playing style and equipment

Zhang won the junior girls’ category at the 2010 and 2011 U.S. National Championships and finished second in the women’s singles. She overcame defending champion Ariel Hsing in seven games to win her maiden women’s singles national championship in 2012.

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